Rolling Stone magazine is up for sale, and figures revealed as part of its publisher’s pitch to potential acquirers show how its print business is shrinking.
According to Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone is predicting that its print advertising revenues will narrow from $28.6m in 2015 to just $10.9m by 2020, while its circulation revenue is expected to nearly halve to $6.3m in the same period.
The magazine’s publisher has outlined its plans: cut the editorial budget by 30%, go from a fortnightly to a monthly publication schedule, and focus more on online-video and television spin-offs.
“We have an enormous amount of belief in our ability to create premium video content, TV shows, and documentaries to service a massive market,” president and CEO Gus Wenner told Vanity Fair, although Rolling Stone is only predicting that its video revenues will grow from $100k now to $1m by 2020 – relative chickenfeed in the online-video world.
Remember, a 49% stake in Rolling Stone was sold to music startup BandLab for $40m in 2016, so it’s just the remaining 51% that’s up for grabs now.